I was just doing on of those leapfrogging research sweeps across the internet for some design work and as usual, wound up in a place I never intended to go or could have predicted I would end up in. I somehow got to Wired.UK and this article caught my interest 'Facebook's questionable policy on violent content toward women' (has no bearing on what I was researching!). This link will take you to Thorlaug Agustdottir's FB page so you can read about this incident and the pathetic responses of FACEBOOK to a clearly distressing situation for one of it's users.
The point of all of this was nicely summed up by one of the later comments: a lady named Oonagh Lawrence wrote: "When someone threatens another person (female or male) with sexual/physical violence, they destroy there(sic) own humanity. it is ultimately a position of loss, they have lost themselves so irrevocably and what it means to be a human being."
I am not sure that the Troll, or Hater, in this case is "irrevocably" lost because hopefully the resounding backlash to his (presumably) actions will cause this person (very possibly someone quite young and emotionally immature) to rethink their behaviour, question his values and possibly even reform them. I hope so.
It all made me think of a quite a heated debate I had a few nights ago with a male friend on the subject of the New Delhi bus attack/rape case, he was telling me that he had to leave a pub where he was drinking with some work colleagues when a group of men nearby started joking about the woman who died and the whole "rape-bus" idea. We wound up discussing the fact that just about everything we see and hear is about reinforcing the differences between men and women, between the races, between sexual preference and religious groups. Reinforcing stereotypes and drawing up demarkations, putting labels on ourselves and everyone we meet so that we can dismiss them offhand without the hassle of getting to know them. Why? Why so little about what makes us all united, we are all human first and foremost and surely we can all empathise with another human being, any human being, who is frightened or victimised? Surely we don't have to have been victims of that exact brand of hatred ourselves for empathy to come?